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Cashing in on cashiers

Cashiers are a store's last chance to make a positive impression. Better hire right.

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It might be a store’s more important role: the cashier.

The Retail Feedback Group’s 2014 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study confirmed this with news that 65% of shoppers credit cashiers with improving their shopping experience. But what traits make a great cashier? We asked grocers to weigh in.

Will Vandergrift, manager of the Ladysmith, B.C. location of 49th Parallel Grocery, says personality and speed matter most.

“It’s extremely important to get [customers] through fast, efficiently and professionally,” he says. “You can detect if they have the personality for that in the interview.”

What else matters? How about arithmetic skills? Vandergrift gives candidates a math test to uncover their comfort with calculations. Being able to connect with people is also a key part of the job.

“A cashier’s number-one responsibility is treating customers properly,” says Brent Battistelli of Battistelli’s Your Independent Grocer in Lively, Ont. When Battistelli hears cashiers and customers laughing together, he knows the store is doing something right.

The same rule applies at Quality Foods Parksville on Vancouver Island, where store manager Randy Henson encourages cashiers to ask after customers’ well-being.

“A cashier is so much more than just scanning groceries.”

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